As the season of reflecting on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, Lent calls for some form of sacrifice and penance.
For Catholics, this means fasting and abstinence. Observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, fasting allows one regular meal, two small meals, and no snacks. Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and all Fridays of Lent, meanwhile, are days to practice abstinence, or refraining from eating meat.
But make no mistake! Now is not the time to stuff yourself silly at the meat-free buffet. Rather, Lent, as Pope Francis said at a Mass in Rome to mark Ash Wednesday, is “a summons to stop, to focus on what is essential, to fast from the unnecessary things that distract us. It is a wake-up call for the soul.”
May Lent 2019 be a wake-up call for your soul, a chance to be grateful for blessings that abound–like the company of your family and friends in these restaurants that serve good (and meatless!) dishes.
If you like fast-food joints
Jollibee is back with its Tuna Pie, a meal in itself with a crunchy crust exterior and creamy tuna-packed filling. Wendy’s always has its Fish and Shrimp sandwiches, and McDonald’s added its Ebi (shrimp) Burger and the returning Fish and Fries as an alternative to the Fillet of Fish sandwich. Shakey’s offers a wider selection of meatless meals via its Seafood Medley. Pizzas include Friday Special (anchovies and capers), Scallops Primo, Smoked Salmon (perk up with a slice of lemon!), and Shrimp Louisiana, while pastas include Seafood Marinara, Aglo y Olio (oil based with shrimps), and Black Seafood (with scallops and shrimps).
If you like Italian
Cibo is your best bet. The modern café by 2016’s Asia’s Best Female Chef Margarita Fores has meat-free options in its menu all year round. No-fail favorites include Panini Mozzarella (mozzarella and anchovy on ciabatta), Insalata di Mare (seafood salad with lemon vinaigrette), Spaghettini alla Margherita (stewed tomatoes with garlic and basil), and Trancio di Salmone (salmon steak with rice).
If you like Filipino
Drop by Crisostomo, where Chef Florabel Co Yatco serves authentic Filipino cuisine with a sophisticated twist. Her Sinigang Mestizo (whole pompano in guava), Algas de Antonio (sea grapes salad), and Paterno (grilled seafood) are appropriate for the season.
If you just want a salad
They don’t call it Salad Stop! for nothing. Have its Omega 3 Baby (rocket, romaine lettuce, smoked salmon, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, beetroot, red onions, sunflower seeds, balsamic soy vinaigrette), Go Geisha (romaine lettuce, red and white cabbage, firm tofu, asparagus, carrots, soba noodles, snow peas, edamame, cucumber, sweet corn, sesame seeds, Japanese miso dressing), or Mi-So Happy (romaine lettuce, red and white cabbage, smoked salmon, grilled tofu, edamame, pickled radish, beetroot hummus, lemon miso dressing) in a bowl or wrap that’s good for sharing.